Locally severe storms to jolt portion of eastern US into Wednesday

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
August 22, 2018, 12:25:09 AM EDT

The risk of thunderstorms packing strong wind gusts, flash flooding and frequent lightning strikes will ramp up in part of the eastern United States into Wednesday.

A potent storm will swing slowly eastward during the first half of this week.

As the storm tracks across the lower Great Lakes region, a zone of sunshine and warmth that developed from eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and western New York state to West Virginia, western and central Maryland and northern Virginia will help fuel locally violent thunderstorms.

Static Severe Tuesday Night 3 pm

Some of the storms have become strong enough to bring an elevated risk of damaging winds and flash flooding. A few of the strongest storms may produce a tornado.

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Cities at risk for severe storms and flash flooding during Tuesday and Tuesday night include Youngstown, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Erie, Bradford, Johnstown, Altoona, York, State College and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Morgantown, Martinsburg, Wheeling and Charleston, West Virginia; Hagerstown, Frederick, Maryland; Jamestown and Buffalo, New York; and Winchester, Virginia.

The severe weather risk into Tuesday night includes parts of southern Ontario as well.

Farther to the east, cloud cover during Tuesday and a wedge of cool air holding on into the night should be just enough to keep violent storms at bay in much of New England and the coastal mid-Atlantic.

However, the risk of storms with high winds will continue farther to the north into late Tuesday night.

Static Tuesday Night Rain NE

Areas of central and northern New York state, just south and east of Lake Ontario to the headwaters of the St. Lawrence River and perhaps communities bordering Lake Champlain, will be at risk for wind gusts that can knock down trees and cause power outages even well after dark.

During Tuesday night, the storms are forecast to weaken while crossing the Susquehanna and Delaware valleys and much of the Virginia tidewater.

However, torrential downpours and the risk of flash flooding are likely to extend eastward across Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York state and western New England.

Downpours drenched the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas during Tuesday afternoon and caused localized flooding.

Cities that may be affected by urban flooding issues later Tuesday night into Wednesday morning rush hour include Philadelphia, New York City, Hartford, Connecticut, and Albany, New York.

On Wednesday, the risk of strong to locally severe storms may split in the middle.

Storms may pack a punch in coastal areas of the Carolinas and southeastern Virginia, as well as part of New England, at midweek.

Static US Midweek

Download the free AccuWeather app to keep up to date on the severe weather situation, including severe weather watches and warnings as they are issued.

While some people may take thunderstorms and severe weather for granted at this point of the summer, the same risks continue as in the springtime during the heart of severe weather season.

Move indoors at the first sign of a storm that includes the first rumble of thunder. Never attempt to drive through flooded roadways as the road surface may have been compromised. Avoid standing or stopping your vehicle beneath large trees due to the risk of a lightning strike or strong wind gusts that may bring trees down.

Later in the week, dry air is forecast to sweep in on a westerly breeze with lower humidity, which should mark an end to the latest siege of downpours and thunderstorms.

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